The former head of Colombia’s now-defunct intelligence agency has been temporarily re-granted asylum in Panama following an appeal to clarify the conditions for her deportation back to Colombia, national media reported on Tuesday.
Panama’s Attorney General has put forth an appeal asking to further clarify the Supreme Court’s decision to deport Maria del Pilar Hurtado, former director of Colombia’s now-defunct intelligence agency DAS, thus extending the duration of her asylum.
According to procedure, until the appeal is resolved, Hurtado can continue to reside in the country under the initial ruling that allowed her asylum, according to Colombia’s Semana news magazine.
Colombia’s former spy chief was granted asylum in Panama under the government of President Ricardo Martinelli in 2010; however, last Thursday she was notified that her asylum was terminated after the Supreme Court ruled the original verdict granting the asylum unconstitutional.
The new ruling stated that she would be illegally residing in the country after three working days, meaning that her asylum should have ended on Tuesday at 5PM had it not been for the appeal by Panama’s Attorney General.
According to Semana, the Supreme Court now has a period of two days to give a copy of the appeal to the plaintiff attorneys. After this, they have a period of 10 days to reply.
Hurtado is wanted in Colombia for crimes associated with a wiretapping scandal that include the illegal participation and interception of communications between journalists, judges, congressmen, and human rights advocates during the administration of former Colombian president, Alvaro Uribe (2002-2010).
Although the whereabouts of the ex-intelligence director is unknown, Panamanian immigration authorities claim that she still resides within the country.
The Panamanian attorney general’s appeal has aroused suspicions due to the the fact that he used to hold a high-ranking position under President Martinelli’s government when Hurtado was granted asylum, according to Semana.